pH level in bonsai .....

Page 1 of 4 1, 2, 3, 4  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

pH level in bonsai .....

Post  efishn on Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:24 pm

Hi all,

is there any one here doing pH balance to his bonsai trees ?
and if there is, is it importent ? or should i pass this issue ?

thx


efishn
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: pH level in bonsai .....

Post  drgonzo on Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:35 pm

pH is important for all horticulture and has been discussed extensively on the forum. Use the search function and type in "fertilizer" or "pH" and you will find a lot of information.
-Jay

drgonzo
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: pH level in bonsai .....

Post  efishn on Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:54 pm

ok, thx very much.

efishn
Member


Back to top Go down

pH Levels

Post  bonsaisr on Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:00 pm

I think this list is from IBC, but here it is again.

Re: Bonsai Fetilizer: Regular vs acid loving
Alan Walker Yesterday at 5:05 pm

Forbey: Here is a list of pH ranges for a variety of trees used in bonsai:
TREE pH range
Acacia 6.5-7.5
Apple 5.0-6.5
Arborvitae 6.0-8.0
Ash 6.0-8.0
Azalea 5.0-6.0
Barberry 6.0-8.0
Beech 6.0-7.0
Birch 5.0-6.0
Bougainvillea 4.5-5.5
Boxwood 6.5-7.5
Camellia 4.0-5.5
Cedar 6.0-7.0
Cherry 6.0-8.0
Cotoneaster 6.0-8.0
Crabapple 6.0-7.5
Cypress, bald 5.0-6.0
Deutzia 6.0-7.5
Dogwood 6.0-7.0
Douglas Fir 6.0-7.0
Eleagnus 6.0-8.0
Elder 6.0-8.0
Elm (Ulmus) 6.0-8.0
Eucalyptus 6.0-8.0
Euonymus 6.0-8.0
Euphorbia 5.5-6.5
Ficus 5.0-6.0
Fir 5.0-6.0
Firethorn 6.0-8.0
Forsythia 6.0-8.0
Fuschia 6.0-8.0
Gardenia 5.5-6.5
Geranium 7.0-8.0
Ginkgo 6.0-8.0
Grape (Vitas) 6.0-8.0
Hawthorn 6.0-7.5
Hazelnut 6.0-7.0
Hickory 6.5-7.5
Holly (Ilex) 5.0-6.0
Ivy 7.0-8.0
Juniper 5.5-7.5
Lantana 5.5-7.0
Larch 5.5-6.5
Lemon 5.5-7.0
Lilac 6.0-8.0
Mimosa 5.0-7.0
Magnolia 5.0-6.0
Maple (Acer) 6.0-8.0
Mountain Laurel (Kalmia) 5.0-8.0
Myrtle 6.5-7.5
Oak (Quercus) 5.0-7.0
Oleander 6.0-7.5
Orange 5.0-7.0
Oxalis 6.0-8.0
Pine (Pinus) 5.0-6.0
Podocarpus 5.0-6.5
Pomegranate 5.5-6.5
Poplar 6.0-8.0
Privet (Ligustrum) 6.0-8.0
Prunus 6.0-8.0
Quince 6.0-7.5
Redbud 6.0-8.0
Rhododendron 5.0-6.0
Rose 6.0-8.0
Rosemary 5.0-6.0
Sage 6.0-8.0
Spirea 6.0-8.0
Spruce (Picea) 5.0-6.0
Sumac 6.0-8.0
Sweet Gum 6.0-7.0
Tamarix 6.0-8.0
Tuliptree 6.0-7.0
Viburnum 6.0-8.0
Willow (Salix) 6.0-8.0
Wisteria 6.0-8.0
Witch Hazel 6.0-7.0
Yew (Taxus) 5.5-7.0
Iris

bonsaisr
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: pH level in bonsai .....

Post  JimLewis on Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:27 pm

And, if you look down the list you will find that a very large percentage of those plants will do just fine in a neutral pH. Almost all do fine in neutral-to-acid(ish) soils. Few -- very few -- want purely alkaline conditions or very acid conditions (most notably ericaceous plants -- azaleas, heaths, etc.).

So, if I had gotten to your question first, I would have told you not to waste too much time worrying about it unless you are a compulsive tinkerer and fusser.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

JimLewis
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: pH level in bonsai .....

Post  drgonzo on Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:03 pm

JimLewis wrote:And, if you look down the list you will find that a very large percentage of those plants will do just fine in a neutral pH. Almost all do fine in neutral-to-acid(ish) soils. Few -- very few -- want purely alkaline conditions or very acid conditions (most notably ericaceous plants -- azaleas, heaths, etc.).

So, if I had gotten to your question first, I would have told you not to waste too much time worrying about it unless you are a compulsive tinkerer and fusser.

pH is one of the most fundamentally important aspects of plant nutrition. It's even more important in bonsai culture due to the limited amount of soil in each container and thus it's limited ability to buffer soil water pH.

I will never understand how folks can simply dismiss this issue as unimportant or that considering your soil water pH is a "waste of time." Indeed belittling it as a subject relegated only to the concerns of "compulsive tinkerers and fussers." is poor.

What a shame.
-Jay


Last edited by drgonzo on Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:12 pm; edited 1 time in total

drgonzo
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: pH level in bonsai .....

Post  JimLewis on Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:12 pm

So. You're a "tinkerer." Yes? <g>

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

JimLewis
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: pH level in bonsai .....

Post  marcus watts on Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:49 pm

I'm 100% with Jay here,

the plants we keep as bonsai can thrive and become something special if you make the effort to tick as many boxes as possible - correct soil parameters, moisture, fertiliser, ph, and pruning all make the job easier and the results become both predictable and rewarding.

To dismiss aspects that you dont understand, or cant be bothered to learn about will give nothing more than average results, and worse still they will be average results that take years to achieve

I take the trees ph requirements seriously and use varying combinations of acid soil components, neutral (or as close to as poss) watering water, and aditional additives like sequestered iron, micacle acid, etc etc. where needed. Yes you can stick a tree in a pot, not really worry about the soil, water or fertiliser ph, the actual feed, the moisture holding capacities etc and it will live 95% of the time - but living and thriving are a million miles apart. every picture tells a 1000 stories Wink

cheers Marcus

marcus watts
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: pH level in bonsai .....

Post  efishn on Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:54 pm

hi again,
thx for your answers.

I know simple thing, if you want perfect results you have to be pro, which means to deal with details.
so if you guys say that this is important, I buy it and I'll start to balance my trees too.
pH meter is on the way......

thx



efishn
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: pH level in bonsai .....

Post  John Quinn on Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:19 am

I'd have to side with Jim...and, having a university degree in Biology, I do understand pH and deal with pH issues every day in my professional career. As Jim said, most trees will do fine with a neutral to slightly acidic pH. A few species, azaleas, etc. will benefit from a fertilization regime which includes products specifically for acid loving trees (e.g. Scott's Miracid). More important will be to concentrate on suitable soil composition, adequate and regular fertilization to include trace elements, and proper watering. I have many friends with fantastic trees and bonsai skills who never check pH.
Having said that, I have actually gone through the trouble of having multiple soil recipes analyzed at a university lab to measure pH, CEC, etc. It's interesting to see the results. I wonder about the reproducibility of data from inexpensive home pH meters (recalling the model I used in my basement!) to make significant changes in growing media. Cool
But,as Jay said, there already exists on IBC significant material describing pH and related issues in detail. Check it out.

_________________
"Eschew obfuscation"

John Quinn
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: pH level in bonsai .....

Post  Guest on Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:47 am

John Quinn wrote:I'd have to side with Jim...and, having a university degree in Biology, I do understand pH and deal with pH issues every day in my professional career. As Jim said, most trees will do fine with a neutral to slightly acidic pH. A few species, azaleas, etc. will benefit from a fertilization regime which includes products specifically for acid loving trees (e.g. Scott's Miracid). More important will be to concentrate on suitable soil composition, adequate and regular fertilization to include trace elements, and proper watering. I have many friends with fantastic trees and bonsai skills who never check pH.
Having said that, I have actually gone through the trouble of having multiple soil recipes analyzed at a university lab to measure pH, CEC, etc. It's interesting to see the results. I wonder about the reproducibility of data from inexpensive home pH meters (recalling the model I used in my basement!) to make significant changes in growing media. Cool
But,as Jay said, there already exists on IBC significant material describing pH and related issues in detail. Check it out.

agreed, with this nuance to it:

you can 'know' or check the PH at one time and see the PH is ok (roughly neutral to very slight acidic), feel safe, next do whatever you want with fertilizing etc, never check the PH again, and finally be unaware of a changed PH in your soil...

Therefore yes, i agree with Jim and John, but knowing what you do with soil composition, fertilizing etc is actually more important because you'll at least have a clue what you're doing and if it could effect the PH in long term.. and how to keep it a safe PH.

If you just want to 'read', ie in Harry Harrington's book Bonsai Inspirations 2 there's several pages about this. But i guess you all know/have this book. I am lucky to have a signed copy (pre-release)

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: pH level in bonsai .....

Post  efishn on Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:50 pm

Hi all again,

Well you convinced me to balance the pH of my bonsai so I bought two pH measuring devices, one for the soil and one for the water. Now I will appreciate some help from someone who has experience in the actual balancing process of the pH.
1. How many times should I water a bonsai pot with correct pH water until the soil changes to the same pH?
2. For how long the correct pH persist in the soil if after phase 1 I will water the pot with regular water?

Thank you all.
Efi

efishn
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: pH level in bonsai .....

Post  fiona on Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:27 pm

yves71277 wrote: Therefore yes, i agree with Jim and John, but knowing what you do with soil composition, fertilizing etc is actually more important because you'll at least have a clue what you're doing and if it could effect the PH in long term.. and how to keep it a safe PH.


Put at its simplest, soil pH is created by the constituent materials of that soil and cannot be "changed" in the way you are suggesting. The only way you can change a soil pH on any sort of permanent basis is to change its make up which is what yves means when he says "what you do with soil composition". Essentially if you have such an imbalance between what the tree needs pH wise and what its current soil is providing, then you have a problem that can really only be solved long-term by changing the soil mix at the next repotting.

_________________
"Espouse elucidation"
_____________________________________

my website

fiona
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: pH level in bonsai .....

Post  John Quinn on Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:55 pm

Read up on what pH is and what is actually being measured...pH reflects the hydrogen ion concentration of a solution so trying to measure 'soil' pH will require creating a solution using distilled water. Other factors such as salt levels in the sample will affect measurements too.

_________________
"Eschew obfuscation"

John Quinn
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: pH level in bonsai .....

Post  JimLewis on Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:26 pm

MUCH ado . . . .

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

JimLewis
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: pH level in bonsai .....

Post  drgonzo on Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:58 pm

John Quinn wrote:Read up on what pH is and what is actually being measured...pH reflects the hydrogen ion concentration of a solution

Correct, thats why you will often read me refer to pH as "pH of soil water" as I did in my above post. The correct terminology When we measure soil pH. is actually "rhizozome in solution." If 'ya wanna get fancy with it.

Fiona is partly right in that the soil particles interaction with water is what alters pH of that water and though this buffering effect is short lived in the confines of a bonsai pot, it can be altered through outside means by using acetic acid or adding lime or other buffers to the irrigation water to help bring soils that are out of balance back into a needed pH range.

Hopefully a grower would know and understand the workings of soil pH and its interactions with their water and it's alkalinity as they mix soils and fertilizers so we don't have to do things like emergency re-pots of trees we would rather just let be.

Once you make the leap of understanding that your soil pH is not nearly as important as your irrigation water pH and most specifically your fertilizer water solutions pH, you are freed to grow trees in just about anything you like. You switch focus to what is the important and functional part of plant nutrition which is the water, it's contents (i.e. fertilizer) and its availability to the plant (i.e pH). Thats why pH is so important, it is the primary functional influence of nutrient availability to plants. The Soil itself only comes into play in as much as it alters the pH of the irrigation or fertilizer water and its ability to retain or release nutrients.

And please forgive me for saying so; but if one truly feels this subject is just... "MUCH ado..." presumably about nothing as the saying goes, then I will look forward to any further discussion on this topic without additional examples of Mr Lewis's now well stated opinion.

-Jay


drgonzo
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: pH level in bonsai .....

Post  coh on Fri Aug 03, 2012 12:06 am

drgonzo wrote:
And please forgive me for saying so; but if one truly feels this subject is just... "MUCH ado..." presumably about nothing as the saying goes, then I will look forward to further discussion on this topic without additional examples of Mr Lewis's now well stated opinion.

I'll second that motion...

For the original poster - if you haven't already, check out this thread: Help with beech leaves (fertilizer, water quality, pH) lots of interesting information. I'm still processing it.

coh
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: pH level in bonsai .....

Post  JimLewis on Fri Aug 03, 2012 1:49 am

Sorry guys . . . .

The way we water, fertilize, and water some more, on soil-less and partly soiless media, the issue of pH is essentially meaningless for us bonsaiests. You guys can fiddle and faddle all you want with YOUR trees, but please don't insist that we all do so. MY trees are all healthy (if a bit soggy these rainy days!) and have been, by and large, for 40 years of doing bonsai, and I have acid-loving plants, neutral-loving plants and alkali-loving plants all growing happily side by side.

This fellow asked if it was important. You guys say yes. I (and others here) say no. No need to get all pissy when someone disagrees with you.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

JimLewis
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: pH level in bonsai .....

Post  drgonzo on Fri Aug 03, 2012 2:38 am

JimLewis wrote:
The way we water, fertilize, and water some more, on soil-less and partly soiless media, the issue of pH is essentially meaningless for us bonsaiests.

Unfortunately you betray your own ignorance of the workings of soil pH with statements like this as watering and fertilizing frequency is actually the very source of most pH changes in bonsai or other container growing medium. I hope our discussion may help educate you.

In my case my watering routine, similar to what you describe above, led to a severe nutrient availability issue due to my well water's very high alkalinity. Yes Mr. Lewis, believe it or not, pH wound up being an issue. I came very close to loosing a few trees I cared about. One of which was quite dear...$. Thank goodness I found and was helped by a very knowledgable forum member who understood the issue and its obvious importance.

JimLewis wrote: You guys can fiddle and faddle all you want with YOUR trees, but please don't insist that we all do so.


Obviously no one has insisted anything of the kind Mr. Lewis. To imply such is insulting.

Mr. Lewis, I invite you to raise yourself to the level of courtesy, respect, and encouragement of open discussion that the other moderators on this forum exemplify. Castigating a discussion topic that forum members are interested in discussing as "Meaningless", "Much ado".. about nothing, something for "tinkerers", or a "waste" of ones time, simply because you disagree, doesn't seem to me to be an appropriate response for a moderator.

I'm sorry if I've upset you.
-Jay


drgonzo
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: pH level in bonsai .....

Post  Guest on Fri Aug 03, 2012 2:47 am

Unless any of my trees shows any form of weakness or sickness I don't care about PH stuff, and so far none of my trees died due to PH problem. there are dozens if not hundreds of causes that may result to problematic health of the tree such as pests, over/under fertilizer, over/under watering, too much/too less sun exposure, winter frost, genetic problems etc...and some of these problems may affect an entire garden before you know it,,,but for Jesus sake! PH problem would be the least of the problem. IMHO- One of the major problem that a person may be concerned with-----is for one not knowing how to turn a yamadori into bonsai or keep a bonsai as bonsai.

I saw more issues/problems here in IBC of harmless cats and cute dogs killing or destroying a bonsai than PH balance killing or destroying a tree.
...Maybe if we are in Agriculture or farming forum this should be more of an issue.


regards,
jun Smile

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: pH level in bonsai .....

Post  drgonzo on Fri Aug 03, 2012 2:56 am

jun wrote:Unless any of my trees shows any form of weakness or sickness I don't care about PH stuff,

Hello Jun

If you look at my thread here

http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t7777-help-with-beech-leaves-fertilizer-water-quality-ph

that problem was caused by a pH issue. It got so bad that the tree barely leafed out this spring. If a person keeps 10 dollar mallsai as bonsai and they have a nutrient deficiency and begin to weaken thats one thing, for me it happened on a specimen Beech and on another tree of some value. I cared plenty then!

I would imagine if I were preparing an Azalea for show and it became Iron chlorotic due to a pH swing I would think I would care. I'm sure the judges would too.

Either way, because I was alerted to a water quality issue I had, and its resulting effect on the pH of water I was giving my trees and the effect it was having on the soil those trees were planted in, I was able adjust the way I grow my trees this year. The results have been excellent. If we can't keep trees healthy, we can't train them successfully. for me pH was a major part of establishing that health and as such became a major part of doing and keeping Bonsai. I assume there may be other folks out there who are equally interested in the subject.
-Jay


Last edited by drgonzo on Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:05 am; edited 1 time in total

drgonzo
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: pH level in bonsai .....

Post  coh on Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:04 am

You know...the person who started this thread is in Israel. We have no idea what kind of water quality he is dealing with, what kind of substrate he has available. It could be that pH issues would be one of his major concerns! In which case, dismissing those concerns as "much ado about nothing" would be doing him a great disservice.

Maybe he'll give us some more information about his growing conditions.

coh
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: pH level in bonsai .....

Post  coh on Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:12 am

Response to Jim:

Not getting pissy. Just getting tired of your belittling attitude toward members of the forum and any ideas that fall outside your experience. Twice within this one thread...first time you called a member "compulsive" for wanting to understand the role of pH on plant growth, then followed that up with the dismissive "much ado about nothing". Is that really necessary? You know, it is possible to disagree without the attitude. I expect better from a moderator - but have seen these kinds of comments from you enough times that I'm not really surprised anymore.

And by the way, no one is insisting that you (or anyone) change anything. Where do you even get that from? Just another inflammatory remark.

If your trees are healthy as they can be (or healthy enough to satisfy you), great. Probably the vast majority of people don't have to worry about measuring pH. But for those who have water quality issues, or possibly have to make do with unusual soil components (due to location, for example), or have trees that are struggling or declining, a basic understanding of pH and its role in plant nutrition could be the difference between success and failure. Not something to be trivialized.


Last edited by coh on Fri Aug 03, 2012 5:52 am; edited 2 times in total

coh
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: pH level in bonsai .....

Post  Guest on Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:18 am

drgonzo wrote:
jun wrote:Unless any of my trees shows any form of weakness or sickness I don't care about PH stuff,

Hello Jun

If you look at my thread here

http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t7777-help-with-beech-leaves-fertilizer-water-quality-ph

that problem was caused by a pH issue. It got so bad that the tree barely leafed out this spring. If a person keeps 10 dollar mallsai as bonsai and they have a nutrient deficiency and begin to weaken thats one thing, for me it happened on a specimen Beech and on another tree of some value. I cared plenty then!

I would imagine if I were preparing an Azalea for show and it became Iron chlorotic due to a pH swing I would think I would care. I'm sure the judges would too.

-Jay


Hi Jay,

...that is what I am saying, pH problem is a result of the neglecting the basic requirements of a healthy bonsai. like
1.over/under or wrong fertilizer
2.under/over watering
3. wrong soil medium- this can also result in over or under watering ,water retention is important as it may also holds the excess fertilizers that may affect the pH level of the soil, and eventually affect the tree...and rotting of course.

That's why I am saying that pH problem should be the least of the problem, a bonsaist should learn all the basics first and pH problem would rarely occur...If you started with an OK tree then an increase or decrease of pH level happens. something you did must have caused it,,,and that is neglecting the basic horticulture of keeping a bonsai. Really, pH problem should be your last concern...it is just an indicator weather you are doing the right thing or not.

...in human term- just like sickness symptoms. eat healthy, living happily, exercise...and the sickness symptoms will rarely appear, and you won't worry much.

regards,
jun Smile

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: pH level in bonsai .....

Post  drgonzo on Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:32 am

Please forgive me Jun, I misunderstood your meaning. I agree with you completely!

You know the funny thing for me was I never wanted to have to learn about pH or plant nutrition, nutrient deficiencies or toxicities, but rather was forced into it once the problems started showing up...in retrospect, that knowledge improved my abilities far more than I ever thought not just with regards to bonsai but as a gardener in general.

It's nice to have "almost" all my trees thriving and healthy, makes me happy to see them so happy.

-Jay

drgonzo
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: pH level in bonsai .....

Post  Sponsored content Today at 6:15 pm


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 1 of 4 1, 2, 3, 4  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum